At the 67 National Awards ceremony, Rajinikanth, in his acceptance speech, thanked his mentors, filmmakers, distributors, and fans who shaped his career. He has mentioned the name of his friend Raj Bahaddur at the grand stage, leaving many wondering who the person is all about.

Rajinikanth with his friend Raj Bahaddur
Rajinikanth with his friend Raj Bahaddur.Raj Bahaddur

Who is Raj Bahaddur?
In simple words, Raj Bahaddur is a friend of the Tamil superstar when he was working as an erstwhile BTS (now BMTC) bus conductor before the cinema world identified him as Rajinikanth, whose original name is Shivaji Rao Gaikwad.

The Friends of 50 Years
Raj Bahaddur, a resident of Hanumanth Nagar, was a bus driver while Shivaji, a resident of Chamrajpet, was a conductor. The former spotted the talent in the latter when he used to perform at cultural activities organised by the BTS.

An Advice Can Change One's Life
So, Bahaddur advised Shivaji to go to Chennai and take up acting classes in the film institute. His advice changed his life as it helped him to become Rajinikanth, an actor who commands a legion of fans across the globe.

Two years after taking up the course, Rajinikanth got an opportunity to perform a play on stage and legendary filmmaker K Balachander was the special guest at the event. Impressed with Rajini's performance, the filmmaker asked him to learn Tamil.


Bahaddur's Another Advice
It was once again Raj Bahaddur, who urged him to speak in Tamil, and they started taking in Tamil, thereafter so that Rajini could speak the language fluently. Not many know that the superstar's friend, who used to earn Rs 400, was sending Rs 200 when the actor was pursuing his dreams in Chennai.

It is this helpful and supportive nature of Raj Bahaddur which has made Rajinikanth remember his friend at every forum he is honoured.

Rajini, a Frequent Visit
Today, 76-year-old Bahaddur is leading a simple life with his family members in Bengaluru and Rajini frequently visits his house in disguise. There is a separate room for the superstar as he makes surprise visits without informing anyone.

Whenever they come, the two friends secretly visit busy areas of Bengaluru. Notably, they love to eat street food and have doses at popular places like Vidyarthi Bhavan.